A four masted barque of the Flying P-Line, the Peking was one of the last generation of windjammers used in the nitrate and grain trade around the often treacherous Cape Horn (photograph of the Peking under full sail taken before 1914 in the estuary of the Elbe river). Eking out meager existence on routes difficult to serve by the steam ships which required vast amounts of coal to fire their hungry boilers, these grand vessels and the sailors sailing them were the last of breed. Sailed “in the traditional way with few labor saving devices or safety features”, her sailors were a hard lot, working four hours on and four hours off 24 hours a day for the entire length of the voyage, sometime for more than a hundred days in a row. Made famous by the sail training pioneer Irving Johnson, his footage filmed on board during a passage around Cape Horn in 1929 shocked experienced Cape Horn veterans and landsmen alike at the extreme conditions Peking experienced. Retired in 1933 when traffic through the Panama Canal proved quicker and more economical, she lived an ignominious existence as boys school at Upnor on the River Medway in England before being acquired by South Street Seaport in 1974. Today, she joins her contemporaries Balclutha, Falls of Clyde and the Star of India in continuing to teach the next generation of the fascinating age of sail. The Peking can still be found at South Street Seaport, New York in the United States.